a Linlithgow man has delved into Scotland’s criminal underworld with a new memoir of a Sweeney-style detective involved in some of the country’s biggest cases.
Crime novelist Bob Smyth (46) stays at St Magdalene’s and in ‘Crimestopper: Fighting Crime on Scotland’s Streets’, he brings the career of retired detective Bryan McLaughlin, who worked for the Scottish Crime Squad, to life.
Bob, also a freelance journalist, first met Bryan in 1997 when he worked in the Glasgow office of The Sunday Post and the retired detective was a crime consultant for the paper.
Bob said: “Our first case was to head north to investigate the murder of Arlene Fraser, an adventure that is in the book. We secured the first in-depth interview with her husband Nat Fraser, now convicted of killing her.”
Bryan’s tales also include brushes with Tam McGraw and Irishman John Friel, as well as notorious crimes such as the Bible John murders, and the bombing of Glasgow’s High Court, over his career spanning the 60s to the late 90s.
Bob added: “Bryan also loves to tell the moving stories of ordinary folk who weren’t famous criminals. There’s the touching tale of an old lady who grew a tree in her living room to mend a broken heart, the eccentric crooked businessman who had a lie-detecting toy elephant in his office and a teddy bear as a personnel manager, and sneaky nurse Smoothie Susie, who conned old folk out of their savings.
“Bryan saw incredible sights, once finding a lion up a Glasgow alley in dead of night when he was a beat bobby. He dealt with over 200 killings in his time and had to take part in Sweeney-style showdowns with armed robbers.”
‘Crimestopper: Fighting Crime on Scotland’s Streets’, published by Edinburgh’s Black and White, is now in shops and a Kindle e-book is also available.